Hand stab knife effect?


New member
Hi everyone,

I am currently shooting my senior thesis film and was wondering if anyone had any tips/ideas on how I can stab a person in the hand with a knife...

Fast responses would be greatly welcomed!


Phillip Lober

New member
Well, you could always just have the camera facing the back of the stabber, and the victim behind him, so we see the victims face when he gets stabbed.

Or, you can cut a knife so that it is only the hilt and part of the blade. Find a way to stick it on victim. So, the stabber would use a non-broken knife in the stabbing scene, and then after a few cuts it would show the knife (the broken one) attached by the end of the blade edge to the victim, making it look like the knife is inside the victim.

Hope that helped.


New member
hand stabbing special effects

hand stabbing special effects

there are really two ways to do this, the dry in-camera way (the workaround) and the fx intensive in post way. Either could look good and it just matters how the shot is constructed really.

Dry: like my friend here said; cut to a reaction shot or follow the knife till it makes contact with the hand then cut away. or rotate so the moment before the knife pierces the hand the actors' body covers up the hand, then just have him scream alot or something.

The other option is both in camera and fx based.
I write this with knowledge of after effects but it might be translatable to other programs:
Get one of those prop knives that collapses when you stab something with it (basically it sucks into the handle spring loaded) and stab your hand.
In post get a clean image of said knife and mask out the blade itself, now motion track (or hand animate) the masked out image of the blade so it looks like it's the blade ON the knife.

what you should have now is the image of a blade on top of all your footage looking like it passes over your hand. The next step is to roto the hand (or cut out the image of the knife where it overlaps the hand) so it looks like the hand is ontop of the knife. If you held your hand steady during shooting this should be pretty easy: just copy the footage layer and paste it on top of everything, then mask out or rotobrush your hand. Now the blade clearly looks like it is going through the hand.

The next step would be a burst or squirt of blood (detonationfilms.com) and of course a wound (a red solid overlayed or an actual wound motion tracked onto the hand). that should do it!

P.S. I could do this effect for you if you send me the footage and a solid image of the knife


New member
Done it

I once made such effect,
We used two similar knifes..
One for the killer scene stabbing, the second we broke it nearly in the middle and used it as the knife on the victims back.

The broken knife was attached to a board of rubber that was glued to the victims back. There were two shots. One for the stabbing, shot from behind..
and then the victim with the prop knife stuck from his shirt (+blood) collapsing down.


New member
Kickass/Scott Pilgrim + Alex

I didn't have that exact hand stab in this video but I also didn't have a retractable knife so I just cut around it. Watch its pretty fun.

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Hi Thealexmcgee, I wish your video link was still working. I removed the link that was dead. If anyone has a handstab video please share it.
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